News & Views – Volume 20 – April 2 – 8, 2012

News & Views – Volume 20 – April 2 – 8, 2012

“I could win at a lot of tracks, but I just try to spread them out and give some other drivers a chance.”

– Ryan Newman in jest, after winning his 16th race on his 11th different track.

With Ryan’s Newman’s win at Martinsville, Stewart-Haas Racing now has three victories in only six races of the 2012 season – their eighth in the last 16 Sprint Cup races. 


Although Hendrick Motorsports once again did not achieve their 200th series victory, Dale Earnhardt Jr is now second in the Sprint Cup series point standings. 


The Sprint Cup teams will have next week off and resume their schedule at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 14th. The Nationwide series teams will race on Friday, April 13, also at TMS, while the Camping World Truck series schedule will resume racing at Rockingham on Sunday, April 15th. 


With Easter Holiday upon us, news is slow for today and tomorrow, so we’re taking a break and will return on Monday, April 9th.  In the meantime here are a few articles you may find interesting reading. 



Let’s begin with news for today…


Saturday, April 7, 2012
1957 – Glen Wood starts fourth and drives to victory in the NASCAR Convertible Division at Richmond (VA) Fairgrounds Raceway. Curtis Turner finishes second after suffering tire failure on the final lap. Bobby Myers came home third.


From NASCAR .com


Dale Earnhardt Jr Talks about Life Away from the Track
NASCAR’s most popular driver thinks he has a boring life. Does he really? You be the judge.


Dale Earnhardt Jr is NASCAR’s most popular driver, and thus he gets the most attention from media. As a result of all the coverage, fans have a pretty good idea of what makes Earnhardt Jr tick and what drives him.


But while we’ve all read the stories about his love for video games and iRacing, is that how he spends all his spare time?


Read more from SB Nation


Testing Tires, Loading Data
Goodyear tire tests give participating teams an early look at upcoming tracks…


Do Goodyear tire tests give drivers and teams that participate in them a leg up at the next race at the test track? 


Of course they do. 


It’s not exactly fair, but to use a popular NASCAR Phrase, “It is what it is.”


In the interests of safety and competition, tire compounds must be tested prior to actual use in race situations. That is particularly true when a track has been repaved or had other modifications.


Read more from SPEED


Bringing Hope and The Six
While in Martinsville, I was interviewed by a newspaper columnist from Richmond, VA, a conversation I thoroughly enjoyed. As we chatted, the impact of the NASCAR road circus on family and me was broached. The topic struck me.


There is the stock answer. And there is the truth. Hear me out.


Undoubtedly, folks in the Airport 500 are worn out. That goes for every profession that requires extensive business travel. Example: The 12-hour Fontana workday straight into the 10-hour Ontario-to-Phoenix-to-Charlotte redeye in Week 5 would make iron man triathletes fall out. It takes a full week to recover.


Read more about this moving story from ESPN writer Marty Smith

Friday, April 6, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1985 – Brett Bodine survives 11 caution periods in the Miller 200 to post his first win in the Nationwide series at Martinsville Speedway. Bodine starts second and leads 58 of 200 laps. Rick Mast places second with Tommy Ellis third.


From NASCAR .com


Ryan Newman helping animal shelter destroyed by fire
Three days after winning the Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, Ryan Newman began helping an animal shelter destroyed by fire in South Dakota.


Newman’s charitable foundation is sending 25 dog kennels to the Battle Mountain Humane Society facility near Hot Springs, SD, which was destroyed by an electrical fire on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.


Read more from Sporting News


Friendly Rivalry Between Petty & Adkins Ends in Truce with $100,000 Donation
At the recent Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on Sunday, April 1, the friendly rivalry between racing legend and Goody’s Headache Powder spokesman Richard Petty and country music superstar and BC Powder spokesman Trace Adkins, ended in a truce that resulted in a total donation of $100,000 to help two charitable causes. Victory Junction, chosen by Petty, and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Adkins’ chosen charity, each received a donation of $50,000 from the powder brand they represent. The donations were a part of the continued Goody’s and BC Pick A Powder Campaign – pickapowder.com – that began in 2010 to see which powder is the fastest at getting rid of pain. 


This year, the donation was the culmination of the “Like, Share, Change the World” Facebook program which gave fans a chance to raise funds and awareness for the two charities. Fans could go to the BC and Goody’s Facebook pages and for every BC or Goody’s page “liked,” a $1.00 donation was made (up to $50,000) to Victory Junction from Goody’s and to Wounded Warrior Project from BC. After fans “liked” the page(s), they could share a suggestion for how to make the world a less painful place.


Goody’s was so moved by the kind of heartfelt messages left by fans all over the country that the company decided to take the program to the community to try to provide some fast relief and “change the world” in a small way for a deserving family. Goody’s learned about a young man named Westley McCormick and his family through the relationship with Victory Junction. Westley is a cancer survivor and a Victory Junction camper who lives in Lexington, NC with his parents and three brothers. At a special check presentation held late last month, Goody’s surprised the McCormick Family with a donation of $2,000 to purchase a computer and home schooling supplies. The McCormick’s also attended the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 and Wesley got the chance to be on stage during pre-race to help receive the $50,000 check presented to Victory Junction.


For Victory Junction the $50,000 donation will help fund the addition of lift systems at the camp’s pool and other camp facilities, ensuring all children have comfortable access to all the activities Victory Junction provides.


For Wounded Warrior Project, the $50,000 donation will help the organization continue its mission of empowering wounded service members and their families by hosting WWP Family Support Retreats that support the family members who sustain the wounded veterans on their path to recovery. 


Learn more about these charities at victoryjunction.org and woundedwarriorproject.org


Darlington Raceway Partners with NASCAR Hall of Fame to Honor Racing Legend
With Cale Yarborough now having been inducted into the third class of the NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, Darlington Raceway will celebrate and honor his achievements during the upcoming Sprint Cup series Bojangles’ Southern 500 race weekend on May 11-12, and they want fans to be part of the festivities.


Darlington and the NASCAR Hall of Fame are partnering on a special ticket offer for fans, which will include an exclusive meet-and-greet and autograph session with the NASCAR legend and hometown hero from Timmonsville, SC.


For $59, each fan will receive a ticket in the Pearson grandstand for the Bojangles’ Southern 500, a ticket to the NASCAR Hall of Fame (redeemable throughout the season), a 2012 Hall of Fame Yearbook and the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with Yarborough on race day. The package is a savings of $36 if individual tickets were purchased for each venue separately.


The meet-and-greet and autograph session will take place at Darlington Raceway Fan 101 tent in the fan display area behind the frontstretch grandstands. The autograph session will take place at approximately 2:30pm on Saturday, May 12 prior to the Bojangles’ Southern 500.


Packages can be purchased by calling 866-459-7223 or by visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com/congratscale


Read more from Darlington Raceway-PR


RCR Museum’s Annual Spring Cruise’N Car Show date announced
The Richard Childress Racing Museum and Gift Shop will host it’s ninth annual spring Cruise’N car show on Saturday, April 28. Festivities will begin at 9am with awards and door prize raffles beginning at 1:25pm. Prizes include an RCR team design nylon uniform-style jacket and a Goodwrench 350 crate engine, courtesy of Classic Muscle. All proceeds of the raffle will benefit the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma.


Read more from RCR-PR


NASCAR to announce nominees for next Hall of Fame class
NASCAR will unveil the 25 nominees for the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class on Wednesday, April 11 at 6pm ET during SPEED’s hour-long Race Hub show.


From NASCAR


NASCAR Fan sings for dream
Resident Colin White is no stranger to singing the national anthem at sporting events. On Saturday, April 7, he will have the chance to compete for the opportunity to sing at a NASCAR race.


White, 54, will be one of 15 people competing in the FANtasy Drive Open House at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.


Read more from Seacoast Online


Frostbuster welcomes NASCAR vet Schrader
His shop in North Carolina is home to Ken Schrader Racing, Inc. His shop in St. Louis is his home away from home.


When 27-year NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader wants to get away, he goes back to his roots. This week, with the Cup series off for Easter, Schrader is running five days of Frostbuster specials around central Iowa.


Read more from Times Republican


Veteran Crew Chief Steve Letarte Launches Personal Website
Steve Letarte, veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup series crew chief and television personality, has launched a new website, steveletarte.com to extend his personal brand and connect with fans.


The site, designed and produced by RACERSITES, includes information and content aimed at extending Letarte’s brand and personality to include personal endeavors beyond the race track.


The Maine native, who currently serves as a crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports and the sports most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Letarte has been working in motorsports since the age of 16, has eight career wins and has led his drivers to top five finishes in the final standings six times.


“Fans, more now than ever, want to develop a deeper connection with their favorite athletes and personalities,” said Letarte. “This site gives me a place to illustrate who I am, both on and off the track. RACERSITES has done a great job and really infused my personality into the new website.”


Among the features implemented in the newly-designed site:

  • Integrated social media channels to allow fans to connect to the crew chief
  • Showcase Letarte as an accomplished leader, media personality and family man
“Steve has a dynamic personality and deep knowledge of his craft,” said RACERSITES CEO, Chuck Tate. “What we set out to do was to build a site that was uniquely him at and away from the track. Fans will get a better appreciation for everything Steve is involved in and has interest in.”

Letarte has been a key part of the Hendrick Motorsports success, serving as support for the No. 24 team and Jeff Gordon, becoming car chief in 2002 and crew chief in 2005. In 2010, he became the crew chief for the No. 88 team with Earnhardt Jr.

From RACERSITES-PR

Thursday, April 5, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1981 – Richard Petty takes the lead from pole-sitter Dave Marcis in the 339th lap and leads the rest of the Northwestern Bank 400 at North Wilkesboro (NC) Speedway. Bobby Allison finishes second with Darrell Waltrip third in a top-three sweep by NASCAR Hall of Famers.


From NASCAR .com


Dale Jr talks about what is driving him
Dale Earnhardt Jr has been in this position before – last year at this time in fact.


The question is: Can he take the next step?


The Sprint Cup Series enjoys one of its few off weeks this week but please forgive Earnhardt if he and his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team choose to savor the moment.


Six races into the 2012 season, Earnhardt is six points out of the series point lead. He still remains mired in his career-worse winless streak, but his is again consistently running up front and contending for race wins.


Read more from Thats Racin


David Reutimann: Martinsville actions were ‘not for Danica’
David Reutimann, who drew heat from fellow NASCAR drivers after his stalled car caused a late caution at Martinsville Speedway, lashed back at criticism Thursday.


Reutimann labored around the racetrack Sunday with what he now says was a broken timing belt with a few laps to go in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500.


He refused to enter the pits, because he was trying to keep his Tommy Baldwin Racing machine in the top 35 in Sprint Cup owners points, a status that guarantees race entry from week to week.


Read more from USA Today


Democratic convention offers NASCAR sponsorship
For only $5, now you, too, can have your name painted on a NASCAR stock car. The Charlotte 2012 convention committee has launched a “Powered by the American People” campaign that promises contributors of any amount that their names will be listed as sponsors on the Democratic National Convention racing car.


An email blast with the pitch, signed by reknown NASCAR promoter H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, went out Thursday and the promotion leads the convention’s web site.


Read more from Politco


Quicken Loans Uses Ryan Newman’s Paint Scheme to help Children ‘Fuel the Cure’
Quicken Loans is partnering with the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) to help ‘Fuel the Cure’ for neurofibromatosis (NF) with the recent announcement that the nation’s largest online lender has donated one of its nine primary races as sponsor of Ryan Newman and his No. 39 Chevrolet Impala to the CTF.


As part of the Fuel the Cure campaign, Newman’s car will feature a special CTF paint scheme during the Toyota/Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA on June 24 – making the Foundation’s first entrance into professional stock car racing.


In addition to the special paint scheme, Quicken Loans, its partners at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and Newman aim to help CTF raise $390,000 for NF research through the website fuelthecure.org. If the goal is met “Fuel the Cure’ and its related programs will have raised $1 million for CTF before 2012 reaches the mid-year mark.


SHR is also offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the Toyota/Save Mart 350k race for a lucky race fan. Every person who donates or raises at least $3,900 between now and June 3, 2012, will be entered in to a random drawing for a pair of passes to a special behind-the-scenes race package. Included is a meet-and-greet with Newman, a tour of his car hauler and pit passes during the race.


“We are very proud of our association with Quicken Loans and are excited to be part of the race in Sonoma,” said Jill Beck, Director of the Racing4Research program. “We set what we felt was a lofty fundraising goal for 2012, and we are now looking at hitting our goal by mid-year. We are grateful for not only the support from Quicken Loans but also Stewart-Haas Racing for the special experience package donation they have come forward with, and it thrills me to think of all the NF Heroes – children with NF – who will benefit from this program.”


NF is a common, yet under-categorized, genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. The disorder can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer and excruciating and disabling pain. NF affects one in every 3,000 children born, making it a more common disorder than many more widely known illnesses, including cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


“Neurofibromatosis is a widely unknown disorder that affects a surprising number of children,” said Jay Farner, President of Quicken Loans. “With our donation, we are hoping to both raise awareness of NF and the great work being done by CTF to find a cure. A lot of smart people are working very hard to eliminate this disorder and we’re proud to provide them the recognition and support they deserve.”


While this is CTF’s first stock car race, the organization has been very active in NASCAR’s Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car series for the past five years as part of the Foundation’s Racing4Research fundraising program – racing4research.org. In January, Quicken Loans was a sponsor of the No. 4 Children’s Tumor Foundation car that competed in the Rolex 24 Hours endurance race at Daytona (FL) International Speedway, an effort that raised more than $600,000 for the CTF cause.


“Before I started talking with the teams at Quicken Loans and CTF I don’t think I had ever heard of neurofibromatosis,” said Newman. “But when you hear how common it is, you can’t help but be shocked that something so serious doesn’t get the attention it deserves. We’re hoping that between our car and fundraising efforts, we will be able to drive CTF closer to finding a cure for this disorder.


From Quicken Loans via True Speed Communications for Stewart-Haas Racing-PR


Hamlin hosting race for charity
Denny Hamlin is bringing more racing to Richmond International Raceway this season. The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division race at the track on April 26, will feature 12 past and present stars in NASCAR, as well as local Late Model stock car drivers.


Hamlin will be joined in the annual race by fellow Sprint Cup drivers, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola as well as NASCAR competitors Jason White, Timothy Peters, Chase Elliott, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Curtis Markham.


Read more from FOX Sports


Hendrick Motorsports junks Jimmie Johnson’s ‘illegal’ car
The infamous Hendrick Motorsports car that failed inspection at Daytona for what NASCAR officials said were illegal C-posts won’t be raced again.


According to ESPN, the car that led to Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus being penalized has been taken to Dale Earnhardt Jr’s property in Cleveland County, NC, where Earnhardt Jr has a collection of damaged cars he calls “yard ornaments.” Included in his collection is the car Juan Pablo Montoya wrecked when he hit a jet dryer during the Daytona 500.


Read more from Sporting News


Earnhardt Jr, Keselowski and McMurray appearing in Talladega Experience
The best way to experience a race at Talladega Superspeedway just got even better!  On Sunday, May 6, National Guard driver Dale Earnhardt Jr, Coca-Cola Racing Family member Jamie McMurray and Miller Lite driver Brad Keselowski are scheduled to make an appearance at the Talladega Experience – the ultimate fan hospitality area.


Read more from Talladega Superspeedway-PR


JR Motorsports Makes Crew Chief Changes
Crew chief changes were announced by the JR Motorsports Nationwide series team Thursday. 


Bruce Cook, who had been overseeing the organization’s part-time third team, has been named crew chief for driver Cole Whitt and the No. 88 cars.


Tony Eury Sr, JR Motorsports competition director will move into the crew-chief role with the No. 5 team, reuniting him with team co-owner and part-time driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Eury Sr and Dale Jr paired to win 15 Sprint Cup races between 2000 and 2004, in addition to two Nationwide series championships, in 1998 and 1999.


Tony Eury Jr will remain as crew chief for Danica Patrick and the team’s No. 7 cars.


Read more from SPEED


Kansas Speedway offering Free Admission on April 20th requesting Donations
Kansas Speedway is offering fans free admission to the grandstands on Friday, April 20 for NASCAR Sprint Cup series and NASCAR Camping World Truck series practices. In lieu of admission, Kansas Speedway is requesting fans make an on-site donation to the leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


Read more from Kansas Speedway-PR


Max Q Motorsports looking for deal to keep team running
Larry Gunselman, owner of the Max Q Motorsports #37 Sprint Cup team is seeking new opportunities to keep his #37 team operational. The RWR plans to purchase Max Q and run for Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year fell through when negotiations to purchase a top 35 team after race 5 failed. 


“Rick Ware and I have been good friends for many years and I wish RWR the best of luck and we may put another program together in the future,” stated Gunselman. “The #37 team is back-up for sale and having made every attempt in 2012 the team would be in the next two races in case of a rain out. Our goal is to put a new program together in the next couple of weeks or I will be forced to liquidate company assets.”


The team is in the process of moving from RWR shop in Thomasville back to their fully operational shop in Moorseville and has a fleet of seven Sprint Cup racecars, transportation equipment including a truck, transporter and pit equipment, as well as, all of the equipment necessary to run a small and efficient Sprint Cup operation.


From Max Q-PR


NASCAR’s Slow Starters: Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne
When the green flag waved on the Daytona 500, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne each harbored realistic championship aspirations. All of them expected to win races and each expected to qualify for the Chase with relative ease.


Now reality has set in and the trio is not only winless, but for a variety of reasons – both of their own doing ans some out of their control – they find themselves well down the championship order.


Read more from SB Nation


Report: Could Mayfield race again?
Could Jeremy Mayfield race again? The troubled driver might just get that opportunity. ARCA team owner Roger Carter told SportingNews.com he would be interested in putting the suspended NASCAR driver in one of his cars, should the series approve him. 


Read more from FOX Sports


Dollars and Sense: NASCAR Drivers Teach Ad Lessons as Brand Ambassadors
NASCAR drivers are well known for the uncanny ability to rattle off a huge list of companies to thank after winning a race or even after a wreck. Whenever you approach one of these drivers with a camera, microphone or notepad and en, you can be sure they will remember who got them there and they want everyone to know who it was. After all, it is the sponsors that pay the millions of dollars required to field a competitive race team.


Read more from The Frontstretch


Turn 3 Repave complete at Daytona 
The operations team at Daytona International Speedway puts the finishing touches on Turn 3 at Daytona International Speedway by painting the yellow lines on the surface earlier today. Lane Construction has completed repaving the area affected by the jet dryer incident during the 2012 Daytona 500.


Read more and see photo at DIS-PR

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1963 – NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett notches his first victory of the season at Augusta (GA) Speedway, in an unusual race shortened by dust. Jarrett starts third and leads 104 of the 112 laps run, 88 short of the scheduled distance. Richard Petty places second with Curtis Crider third.


From NASCAR .com


Day 2 of Goodyear Tire test at MIS complete
After a successful two-day Goodyear Tire Test at Michigan International Speedway, some NASCAR drivers say they are happy with the repave. 


Oh, and the track is fast. They all said that too.


“This place is fast. I mean fast, fast,” NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya said. “Our minimum speed this morning was over 180mph through the corner when you think about it. We are doing easily over 210mph at the end of the straight.”


“For a car like this, it is really, really quick. It is a lot of fun. I think as the track links up I think it is going to bring great racing. That is pretty good.”


Montoya knows good racing. As an Indianapolis 500 winner, CART champion and multiple winner in the FIA Formula One World Championship, he also knows speed.


He along with Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch tested at MIS on Tuesday and Wednesday. 


Official speeds were not available. But participating drivers said and tweeted they unofficially topped speeds of about 215mph.


“I’m not sure I want to know I’m going that fast,” Gordon joked.


A Goodyear Tire test isn’t necessarily about speed. The test is about collecting data so the tire company can build a good race tire for the track’s NASCAR events.


This is the fourth time the racetrack has been repaved. The track was built in 1968, and repaved in 1977, 1986 and 1995. 


In fact, most drivers don’t like repaves, they said. They like racing on old pavement. 


However, this is the best repave Gordon said he’s seen. And it’s one of his favorite racetracks.


“I’m not a big fan of repaves so the fact that I’m am talking positive about it and still enjoying the racetrack as much as I always have I think that is a sign where I rank it. I rank it very high,” Gordon said.


“Whatever it is about this track, it has just always had a great feel to it. Instead of having to go in and recreate some of that like some tracks have had to do, they were basically able to pave over the top of what they had, fix whatever they could to keep it lasting as long as possible, which you would typically do on a repave.”


“The track drives so similar to the way it did before and it is going to have multiple grooves.” 


All the drivers added they believe Ryan Newman’s track qualifying record of 194.232mph set back in 2005 is in jeopardy.


From MIS-PR


Victory Junction Becomes a SeriousFun Camp

The New logo for
Victory Junction – A SeriousFun Camp

Victory Junction is pleased to announce that The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, to which Victory Junction Camp has been a member for eight years, has become SeriousFun Children’s Network.


SeriousFun Children’s Network President and CEO John C. Read noted that the new name is an opportunity to share the remarkable journey of the organization, which over the course of 25 years has grown from one camp in Connecticut to a strong, united network of 28 camps and programs around the world.


“Our founder, Paul Newman, always knew that taking fun seriously could make a real difference in the lives of children facing serious illness,” said Read. “His incredible vision inspired so many people, leaving a lasting impression that lives on today as SeriousFun Children’s Network.”


Since the inception of its flagship member, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut in 1988, more than 384,700 children and their families have been served by an evolving global network of camps and programs. Read cited this global growth as a principal motivator for the name change, noting the importance of more clearly linking the camps together under the distinct SeriousFun Children’s Network name.


“The camps have always been connected by a shared belief in the power of fun, but now they are unified by a new name and better positioned to spread the word about the inspired work happening worldwide,” said Read. “Children coping with the daily hardships of illness deserve a chance to kick back and simply be kids – and SeriousFun Children’s Network stands ready to reach even more children and their families around the world.”


With a new strategic plan for elevating global awareness and encouraging charitable donations, SeriousFun Children’s Network aims to strengthen support and bring Paul Newman’s vision to new corners of the world. A renewed focus on cultivating relationships with national and global corporations will be instrumental in continuing SeriousFun’s growth and excellence worldwide.


Victory Junction retains it’s name and logo, yet will be known as part of SeriousFun Children’s Network moving forward.


“We will operate as we always have, just now with a stronger connection to the global community of camps and initiatives,” explained Victory Junction Founder, Kyle Petty.


From Victory Junction-PR


Smith Wants State Aid to Help Rebuild Bristol
Bruton Smith confirmed last week that he will reconfigure Bristol Motor Speedway, addressing fan complaints about lackluster racing in recent events. Now, Smith wants the state of Tennesee to help pay for it.


Read more from Motorsports-Soapbox


Motor Racing Network Returns to Rockingham
NASCAR returns to Rockingham Speedway this month and Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – is going back too, for live coverage of the track’s inaugural Camping World Truck Series race.


Read more from Motorsports-Soapbox


2012 Michigan Speedway Goodyear Tire Test Recap with Brad Keselowski
“Well it’s been faster today, obviously, having the second day on the track; got some rubber put in the pores of the track and cleaned off a little bit. You know, all those things add up to more speed so, obviously, today was a lot faster. It was quite an honor for me to be chosen to perform the tire test here for Goodyear. Obviously, this is a track that means a lot to me and to my family. I wanted to be the first guy on it (laughs). I’m glad we were able to do that, raise some speeds and raise some dirt from the rear. It was good, good stuff.”


“Whenever you repave a track or drastically make a change of the nature of a repave, it’s going to change the racing and how it works. You know the question is, it going to be better? Is it going to be worse? is it going to be this or is it going to be that? You know time will tell. I think the track has a lot of key events that will probably indicate how the Cup race will go. The Cup race is obviously the Granddaddy race for this racetrack.”


“There is a Nationwide race event and an ARCA event beforehand. I think that will probably provide the biggest indicator of the quality of racing that we will see come Sunday in June, but I feel pretty good about it. I feel like the Nationwide race here is going to be crazy. That might be one of the best races of the year for any of the series. It’s just like a restrictor-plate race, so that race should be crazy. I can’t wait; I’m going to drive in that one. I also think it’s going to be help open up the grooves and help to get some of the rubber in the pores that we talked about earlier to where you can use all the lanes. I think that’ll be great. One of the key things that I see about the track is the decision to repave it in October versus waiting until this season. It has given the track extra time to cure which I think is going to speed up the process of getting the track to be very racy. And with those events beforehand, there’s a very good chance that we could step into the first weekend with the repave here again in June and see racing just as good if not better. I’m more than optimistic of how the quality of racing is going to be and feel pretty good about it.


From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR


Denny Hamlin yuks it up, makes blind putt as Masters caddie
Even though it was just the annual Par 3 Contest at the Masters, big-hitting Bubba Watson brought a driver. His caddie Wednesday was his NASCAR racing pal and fellow left-hander, Denny Hamlin. Watson’s opening tee shot Wednesday was a bit short. Somebody asked if his caddie had given him the wrong distance on the hole.  “He only knows holes that turn left.” Watson quipped.


Read more from USA Today


Richard Childress Racing Announces Dates for first Pit Crew Training Combine
Richard Childress Racing announced today it will hold the first Pit Crew Training Combine in its 43-year history on Tuesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 11 from 2:30-4:30pm at the organization’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series facility located in Welcome, NC.


The one-of-a-kind event, open to experienced pit crew members as well as athletes with a serious passion for developing into full-time pit crew team member, gives participants the opportunity to showcase their athletic talents and learn the necessary skills to help them develop into a well-rounded teammate. Activities will consist of a variety of rigorous agility workouts and physically demanding tests which include mock training programs and real-time simulated pit stops in high-pressure scenarios normally experienced on a weekly basis both on and off the track throughout the course of a full season. Entrants will have the ability to learn from some of the most experienced and respected leaders in the industry on what it takes to prepare your body and develop the necessary mindset for the highest level of motorsports competition.


Read more from RCR-PR


Newman’s Car Number Will Hold Your Tickets
Ryan Newman’s win in Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway was a victory for all fans, regardless of their favorite driver. To help commemorate Newman’s victory, his car number – 39 – will hold your tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 until July 31.  


Order tickets now and secure your seats for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on October 28 with $39 down and schedule payments for the remaining balance through July 31st.  This offer is open to anyone, including TUMS Fast Relief 500 renewal customers. It can only be purchased by phone at 877.RACE.TIX


All other tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 weekend are also on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at martinsvillespeedway.com  The TUMS Fast Relief 500 is scheduled for October 28, the day after the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. NASCAR Sprint Cup and Truck Series Practice Day is October 26.


From Martinsville Speedway-PR


Newman’s win stirs Kulwicki memories
In the world surrounding NASCAR, April 1 has held a profoundly deep meaning for the past 19 years. Alan Kulwicki was killed in a private jet crash in 1993. Thousands of friends and fans have remembered the 1992 Cup Series champion every year since.


Read more from NASCAR .com


Jeb Burton hoping to carry on family tradition
Ward Burton’s transition from race car driver to parent of a race car driver hasn’t always been easy. In at least one instance, watching as son Jeb, now 19, as he tore up the track was downright frightening.


Read more from FOX Carolina


Amanda Beard slams former boyfriend Carl Edwards in memoir
When Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard and NASCAR star Carl Edwards dated for nearly a year from 2005-2006, they were one of the most high-profile couples in sports. But the Olympic gold medalist says she still feels jilted by the Roush Fenway Racing driver.  


In her memoir, “In the Water They Can’t See You Cry,” Beard describes Edwards as self-absorbed insanely jealous and controlling.


Read more from Sporting News


Kenseth Meets Media to Discuss New Pavement at Michigan International Speedway
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion, has been at Michigan Interntional Speedway the last two days doing a tire test for Goodyear on the track’s newly-repaved surface. Kenseth, who finds himself in a four-way tie for third place in the overall point standings, spoke to members of the media about how the test has gone and his season to day during the lunch hour.


Matt Kenseth – No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion – How is the Track?
“It’s OK. The biggest thing whenever you get new pavement is to get it kind of burned in and get all the dirt off of it, so we really need more cars to be able to get more than one lane, but the track is just like how it was really. It’s just got new pavement on it.”


How are the speeds?
“I would probably say fast to too fast (laughing). They’re pretty fast. I think we saw 215 or 216 on the straightaways, so it’s definitely gonna be fast.”


How much will the Tire Goodyear brings impact the speeds in June versus this test?
“The tire is always the biggest factor in the speeds no matter where we go or what kind of pavement we’re racing on, so I think Goodyear has done a really good job with all of these new repaves that have come up the last four or five years. They’ve brought a tire that doesn’t fail and we can drive and maneuver on it. In the past, it used to be when they paved these places they’d bring a tire that was so hard, because they couldn’t keep them from failing, that we couldn’t drive the cars for 20-30 laps. So I think they’ve done a good job of giving us something we can drive off the get-go and still seems durable.”


Will this help you compile notes for when you come back in June?
“For sure it does, especially after a new repave and a different configuration. I don’t know if you learn your exact setup and all that because everything will change when you get here, but it’s certainly nice to get a feel for the track and gather some data.”


Is there any chance you have to touch the brake with the faster speeds going into turn one?
“This has never really been a heavy braking track. I think everybody drives a little different. At least for me, it seems like you’re still using it a little bit at times to get the front end set and you get the car to turn, but I think once everything gets burned in, and you get more cars here, and you get on the tire they’re gonna race, and work out your setup, I don’t think you’ll be using the brakes much. I think you’ll be using a lot of gas.”


What kind of data do you receive after each test?
“On normal weekends when we practice we can’t put any kind of telemetry on the car. We can’t really look at any of that. The only thing is with the electric fuel injection now we can gather some data with throttle and brake traces and some different engine data, but when we come here to test we can put whatever instrumentation we want on the car, so, really, we look at all of that stuff. There’s a ton of things they look at like ride heights and bump-stop loads – all kinds of different things they can look at today and then gather it all up to take home and look at it before we come back.”


Will the repave improve racing at MIS? And how does it compare to other tracks across the country?
“Michigan has always been one of my favorite tracks. I think the racing has always been great here. I think it would be hard to improve on what you had. It was pretty slick before. You would run real fast and slow up on old tires and the groove was all over the place, so I don’t think it’s gonna be better than that. I think it’s gonna be faster than that. I think qualifying is gonna be real exciting. I think the race will be real exciting like it always is, but I think you’re probably gonna see a little different race at least for a year or two until it gets more worn out and the pace comes back. We’re running at least three seconds faster than what we would run in race runs the last time we were here and that’s gonna change the racing a little bit, so you have to pave these places eventually or they’d fall apart, I guess. I think most drivers probably like old pavement, but certainly the new pavement lately, everybody has been doing a good job of make it smooth and Goodyear has been giving us a tire that has some grip, and I think the racing has been pretty good at the new pavement tracks as well.”


How will an increase in temperature this June affect the tire?
“In general most tracks, as it gets warmer, lose grip and they get a bit slower. It doesn’t really necessarily change the tire and how it meets the track. It changes a little bit, but my car wasn’t quite right early this morning, but I think the speeds then were probably faster than we ended up right before lunch. So usually as it gets warmer you lose a little bit of grip and the pace slows down no matter what the pavement is like.”


How has your season been so far?
“Its been good. Obviously winning the Daytona 500 was really big for our team. If you look at every week, there have been a few weeks we’ve overachieved and there have been some weeks where you have a hard time like Vegas. We ran in the top two or three all week and crashed at the end. After six weeks, I’m happy with where we’re at. You always wish that on some of your bad days you did better and didn’t make mistakes, but certainly there have been some races we overachieved, and I think we’ve been pretty competitive.


From PCGCampbell for Ford Racing-PR


Goodyear Test Open to Fans at Pocono Raceway
Goodyear Tire, the Official Tire of NASCAR, recently announced that April 24 & 25, 2012 will be the dates for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tire tests at Pocono Raceway. The Raceway is in the final stages of repaving the entire track and it’s essentially a brand new track. Goodyear engineers will provide a number of different tire compounds and will determine, through this test, what are the best compounds based on results of the test. Goodyear will then produce the tires that will be used in the June 10, Pocono 400, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.


The drivers and teams tentatively scheduled for the Pocono test are: Jamie McMurray from Earnhardt Ganassi Sabates Racing/Chevy; Kasey Kahne, Hendrick MotorsportsChevy; Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing/Toyota; AJ Allmendinger, Penske Racing/Dodge and Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports/Ford.


Fans will be permitted to view both days of the test from the granstand area at no charge. Fans should enter the parking lots via Gate #5 (Andretti Rd.) with Gate #11 opening at 9am. Fans will be directed to grandstand seating areas near the Start/Finish line. Concession stands will be open both dates of the test. NASCAR will allow all Sprint Cup Series teams to test the new Pocono surface with a specially scheduled test on June 6-7. Grandstands will not be open for this test, however, race fans that have Trackside RV, Reserved Fence Line RV, Reserved Infield RV or Early Bird Infield RV tickets for the Pocono 400 will have the opportunity to view the test session on Thursday for no additional charge. In fact, Gate #1 tunnel entrance and Gate #4 (for Trackside RV) will open at 9am on June 7 to allow early access for these fans.


Read more from Pocono Raceway-PR


On rare off weekend, drivers vary from relaxed to stir crazy
Bobby Labonte is going to college. Greg Biffle is headed for the beach. Kasey Kahne will play in the dirt. Matt Kenseth is staying home.


A rare off weekend – one of only two between now and Thanksgiving – silences NASCAR engines for a few days and gives drivers a chance to play, sleep or do whatever they want.


Read more from USA Today


Taking the lead: Inside the introspective mind of Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski has been making headlines and attracting attention since he first burst onto the NASCAR scene in 2009. Either through controversial incidents on the track – his series of run-ins with Carl Edwards in 2009 – or through his outspoken nature off it, Keselowski has a way of stirring things up and keeping things interesting.


Read more from Sporting News


The New 2014 Chevrolet Impala
Check out the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala, keeping in mind Team Chevy has already announced their 2013 racing version will not be an Impala but a new introduction yet-to-be-announced later this year. (Anticipated date is around April 30th) 





From Chevrolet-PR


Gresham Forms Promotional Association with BugBrand Naturally Derived Insect Repellent
BugBrand and its line of natural insect repellent products today became the first Made In USA Brand Certified company to partner with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Max Gresham.


Read more from Max Gresham-PR


Rockingham Speedway to host John Boy and Billy’s Play Pen at NCWTS Race
Rockingham Speedway is partnering with America’s most popular radio morning show to offer an exclusive race experience for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine April 13-15.


The Big Show with John Boy and Billy Play Pen will serve as the speedway’s official Party Central on race day.


“This will be a unique experience for race fans in John Boy and Billy’s Play Pen,” said Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg.


John Boy and Billy’s Play Pen ticket holders will have reserved seats in sections 101-109 at the track. The $25 ticket also allows fans access to the adjacent tailgating parking area overlooking turn two and the entrance to Thunder Valley.


“This is a great place to watch all the action at Rockingham,” said Hillenburg. “The Play Pen will be right above treacherous turn two, where all the calamity usually starts.”


Fans can also purchase two for one 12 oz. Budweiser products in the Play Pen.


“The view ill be like watching the race from your living room,” said Hillenburg, “except you will be watching with thousands of your closest friends and you won’t miss any of the sights, sounds or smells from the racetrack.”


For more information on the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine, or to purchase tickets for any of the speedway’s events, contact Rockingham Speedway at 910.205.8800 or visit online at rockinghamspeedway.com.


From Rockingham Speedway-PR


Ragan Enjoys Day at Masters ‘Just Being a Fan’
Even though he wasn’t anywhere near a racetrack, David Ragan got to see plenty of driving this week. The pilot of the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spent Monday at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in his home state of Georgia.


Read more from Front Row Motorsports-PR


Day 1 Tire Test complete at Michigan
Brad Keselowski made history at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday. The Rochester Hills native took the first laps on the newly paved surface at the racetrack during a Goodyear Tire Test. 


“I feel the decision to pave in October, giving it some time to set was very beneficial,” Keselowski said. “The track should be ready to go in record time for a repave. It should be in great shape when we come back here for the race.”


Keselowski was the first car out at 1:23pm shortly following a rain delay. He was joined at the test by fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Juan Pablo Montoya.  


Keselowski tweeted throughout the test, saying the track would reach top speeds on Day 2 of the test on Wednesday. 


But that didn’t keep him from reaching 212, enough to break the 194.232mph track qualifying record set by Ryan Newman in 2005. 


Read more from MIS-PR


Jupiter boy, 13, wins NASCAR driver’s first go-karting scholarship
A Jupiter boy has been awarded the first AJ Allmendinger Karting Scholarship, created to help propel young racers into motorsports careers. Kyle Kirkwood, 13, has already won several championships throughout Florida and the United States, and 2012 marks his first year of junior-level competition. He currently competes in the Florida Winter Tour. 


NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger, who currently drives for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, created the scholarship to help deserving young people get the support needed to move up through the racing ranks.


Read more from The Palm Beach Post


Feature Flick: NASCAR Racer takes Ford Engineers for Ride of their Lives
Ford recently decided to get its engineers out of the office by sending them to what they thought was an ordinary commercial shoot. What the engineers got was the ride-along opportunity of a lifetime with NASCAR racer Carl Edwards in a 365-hp 2013 Ford Taurus SHO.  


Watch “Rocket Science” Videos and read more from Automobile Magazine


NASCAR sees social media as driver for more growth
Joe Gibbs says social media might be the supercharger NASCAR needs to outrun a sluggish economy. Gibbs and other NASCAR team owners have watched as the prolonged economic crisis has chased off not only sponsorship dollars but also manufacturer support. The sport that enjoyed explosive growth through the 1990’s also has lost its grip on fans as disposable income has become a thing of the past for so many. But Gibbs believes NASCAR might finally be gearing up for a recovery, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools that have the capability of not only making a reconnect, but also revving up new fan interest.


Read more and See Video from The Tennessean


DirecTV blackout of Fox 40 angers NASCAR fans
DirecTV subscribers are fuming over the loss of Fox 40 KTXL. Fox 40 was blacked out Saturday night for tens of thousands of DirecTV customers, including Yuba-Sutter consumers, when the television provider’s contact with the Tribune Broadcasting Co. expired.


Read more from Appeal Democrat


Pit-Road Penalties Hampering Drivers
We saw a lot of pit-road penalties during Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. I am wondering if this new fueling deal and the readings that they are getting with it are throwing them off on figuring that out. I don’t have a complete answer yet. I am going to get a hold of Tony Gibson, who is Ryan Newman’s crew chief, to see what happened in their case. As you know, they were able to overcome their speeding penalty and win the race.


Read more from FOXNews


Texas Motor Speedway Unveiling State-of-the-Art Press Conference set

Texas Motor Speedway Press Conference Set
Designed by FX Design Group 

Texas Motor Speedway will be unveiling a new press conference set during next week’s Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend that will be unparalleled in motorsports and among the elite designs among all sports.


Texas Motor Speedway commissioned FX Design Group, the industry leader in set design to custom build the vibrant set that will be situated in the deadline room of the Samsung Mobile Infield Media Center.


“It is important that Texas Motor Speedway always be first, best and most creative in all aspects and how we present ourselves to the world through the media is another tool,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “There is no one else in professional sports, not to mention motorsports, that has such a set in its press room. It is a big step forward for not only  ‘The Great American Speedway,’ but for auto racing as well.”


The set will feature an eight-foot, custom-built, anchor-style desk with a Samsung 40-inch LED, high-definition SMART television on the front for branding and special effects. Special drafting chairs will be used to place the press conference guests at perfect height to show off their sponsors more prominently.


Two Samsung 55-inch LED, high-definition SMART televisions will be stationed behind the desk on rolling carts that can be positioned horizontally or vertically for branding such logos as well as video and PowerPoint presentations. HDFlow wireless technology will allow speedway staff to control content on the three television screens remotely.


An 8-foot-by-14-foot backlit duracurve wall featuring a graphic application of Getty Images photographs at Texas Motor Speedway will finish out the set. The wall features a dramatic photo of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race action past the speedway’s frontstretch grandstands and suites while the others are racing shots from NASCAR and IndyCar.


The audio and lighting aspects also have been upgraded in the new design. All guests will use lapel microphones for optimum sound while eight state-of-the-art, low-heat Pro Color Cannon fixtures were professionally positioned to give the effect of three-point lighting.


Since 1986, FX has built an impressive and varied portfolio of network affiliate, cable and specialty set design and fabrication, including work for nationally syndicated shows as well as news sets in many of the country’s top markets. FX’s work also has been honored with multiple Emmy Awards and five Broadcast Design Association Awards.


“It was a kick to create a network quality set for Texas Motor Speedway’s media center in Dallas/Fort Worth, and to our knowledge the first one of its kind in NASCAR and in motorsports overall,” FX Design Group Creative Director Bill Brown said. “The Texas Motor Speedway desk and backdrop will rival the studio environments of networks, major cable sports outlets and local stations across the country and is unparalleled in their industry and among the premier in sports overall.”


The stage area also will have a European-style metal lectern from villa-proctrl that is being custom built. The Dutch company is providing a temporary modern-style alternative until it is completed.


A sneak preview of the set design will come Sunday when Gossage will utilize it for the speedway’s Satellite Media Tour with local and regional television affiliates to preview the upcoming Samsung Mobile 500 race week.


From Texas Motor Speedway-PR


Tuesday, April 3, 2012
On this Day in NASCAR History
1969 – Bobby Isaac pilots his Nord Krauskopf-owned No. 71 Dodge to victory at Columbia, (SC) Speedway’s half-mile dirt track. Isaac starts from the pole and leads 96 of 200 laps to top David Pearson by 12 seconds at the finish. Richard Petty takes third, one lap back.


From NASCAR .com


Timmy Hill Returns to NASCAR Nationwide Series at Texas Motor Speedway
Timmy Hill, the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, will return to the Nationwide Series with Rick Ware Racing for the remainder of the 2012 season, starting with the Friday, April 13th event at Texas Motor Speedway. Hill and the RWR team attempted the move to the Sprint Cup Series this year.


Read more from Timmy Hill-PR


Texas Motor Speedway Safe and Sound 
Via TMS –Tweet today – We are safe and sound. Our thoughts are with those in DFW weathering the storm. God Bless Texas.



Danica foots bill for niece’s softball team uniforms
Danica Patrick doesn’t have children, so when she talks about her life away from the racetrack, it often relates to fashion or cooking or wine. Now she can talk about sports – as well as fashion – in a way that most parents can relate. She is sponsoring a youth softball team.


Read more from Sporting News


NASCAR Hall of Fame Voted Best Museum In Charlotte
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is the recipient of the 2012 About.com Charlotte Readers’ Choice Award for Best Museum in Charlotte.


Now in its fifth year, the About.com Readers’ Choice Awards honor the best products, features and services across more than a dozen categories, ranging from technology to hobbies to parenting and more, as selected by its readers.


Read more from SPEED .com


Coca-Cola and Pizza Inn Rev Up the Fun with an Instant Win Game & Sweepstakes
Calling all NASCAR fans. Coca-Cola and Pizza Inn, the international pizza chain of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc, are revving up the fun with the Coca-Cola and Pizza Inn NASCAR Instant Win & Sweepstakes.


Now through May 27, Pizza Inn fans are invited to visit cokeplaytowin.com/pizzainn to enter the grand prize sweepstakes and to play an instant win match game. The instant win game can be played each day for over 300 additional prizes including Pizza Inn Pizza Cards and Coca-Cola/Pizza Inn Racing Prize Packs.


The grand prize winner will receive VIP treatment with a trip for two to Atlanta, GA, Aug 30-Sept 3, with airfare, hotel accommodations and transportation to and from track events at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The grand prize winner and a guest will also be treated to a number of additional one of a kind VIP events, including: Attend a special Dinner with appearances from members of The Coca-Cola Racing Family; Meet all members of The Coca-Cola Racing Family; Hot Lap rides with a member of The Coca-Cola Racing Family at Atlanta Motor Speedway; Tickets to the Saturday Nationwide Series event & the Sunday Sprint Cup Series event; Receive passes for Coca-Cola trackside hospitality & Race Day Show with appearances from members of The Coca-Cola Racing Family; Receive admission to World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place & the Georgia Aquarium.


No purchase is required to enter or win, and the grand prize winner will be selected after May 27 from all entries received. Race fans can learn more about the sweepstakes at facebook.com/pizzainn

From Pizza Inn, Inc-PR


Race to Indy with CRC’s Sweepstakes to win VIP Trip to IMS
CRC Industries, Inc. leading automotive aftermarket chemical manufacturer, will send one very lucky Facebook fan and a guest to Indy in July for an action-packed weekend of NASCAR and Grand-AM racing for the inaugural ‘Super Weekend at the Brickyard.’ The event will be held from July 27-29 and includes 4 epic races from the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Grand-Am Rolex Series and the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series.


CRC will provide airfare, admission to all four races, reserved seating, pre-race pit passes and a VIP package that includes admission to the Brickyard Club for Climate-controlled comfort, catered food and open bar. The winner and a guest will stay for 3 nights at the upscale JW Marriott just minutes away in downtown Indy and enjoy privileged parking at the track.


For more information on the CRC Race to Indy sweepstakes, visit the company’s Facebook page at facebook.com/crcauto  The sweepstakes ends June 30, 2012. Entrants must be 18 years of age and “Like” CRC on Facebook to be eligible to win.


From CRC Industries, Inc-PR


NASCAR drivers expected at Myrtle Beach Speedway race in May
Michael Waltrip and Kyle Petty are expected to be among several current and former NASCAR drivers and personalities in attendance for the May 10 races at Myrtle Beach Speedway.


The races are being held two days before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Bojangles Southern 500 at nearby Darlington Raceway and track officials have invited several Sprint Cup drivers to take part in Victory Junction Night at the speedway, according to track spokesman Bill Hennecy.


Read more from Myrtle Beach Online


Danny Efland to Race Texas Motor Speedway
Danny Efland has agreed to drive a Johnny Davis Motorsports Nationwide entry April 13th at Texas Motor Speedway. The Race will be on Friday night under the lights.


Danny and Johnny have been working to keep the #4 car locked in with Danny finishing a career high 13th place at Daytona and crew chiefing the car at several other events.


From Danny Efland Racing-PR


OneMain Financial returns as title sponsor in NASCAR NNS Race at Dover
One Main Financial and Dover International Speedway have announced a renewed partnership for 2012 with OneMain Financial returning as the title sponsor of the fall NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Monster Mile, the Sept 29, 2012 “OneMain Financial 200.” This will be the second straight year OneMain Financial will sponsor the fall NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover.


Read more from Dover Speedway-PR


Steve Wallace in Nationwide Race at Richmond
In a twitter response yesterday, Kenny Wallace indicates Steve Wallace “…will be racing the NNS at Richmond with RWI.


From Kenny Wallace Twitter


Send a Soldier to The Rock
“Send a Soldier to The Rock” is partnering with Fort Bragg to distribute tickets to men and women in uniform for the upcoming Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine NASCAR Camping World Truck series (NCWTS) race on April 15. 


“Fans have begun adding an additional ticket to their order for the soldiers,” said Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg. “Some have even purchased blocks of 3-4 seats. This program started at the grassroots level, and we couldn’t be happier to give it our seal of approval. Nothing is too good for our military men and women, and we look forward to hosting them April 13-15.”


The event will be the first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Rockingham since 2004.


Three days of racing beginning Friday, April 13 with practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck and UARA-STARS Late Model Series, along with practice and qualifying for Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals.


Saturday’s schedule features additional practice and qualifying for the Camping World Truck and the UARA-STARS, along with Twin 75-lap main events for the UARA-Stars Late Models and Frank Kimmel Street Stocks. After the final checkered flag falls, Little Texas and the Chris Lane Band will take to the stage for a concert that is free to all race ticket holders.


Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine takes the green flag at 1pm, Sunday, April 15. A ticket to the race will get fans into the NCWTS drivers meeting and a special autograph session on pit road prior to the running of the race.


Fans can purchase Send a Soldier to The Rock tickets by calling the speedway office at 910-205-8800.


From Rockingham Speedway-PR


Jeremy Mayfield property to be auctioned
Suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield, who faces nine criminal charges in two North Carolina counties, is scheduled to have his property sold at auction April 30.


Mayfield, suspended since May 2009 for what NASCAR says was a failed drug test for methamphetamines, took out a $3.1 million mortgage in July 2006 and has failed to make his payments, according to the foreclosure initially filed in December in North Carolina Superior Court in Newton, NC.


Read more from Sporting News


AND – Team owner wants to field car for suspended NASCAR driver Mayfield
If suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield can avoid jail time, he could have a job back behind the wheel of a racecar later this year. ARCA team owner Roger Carter said Tuesday that he wants to put the embattled Mayfield in one of his cars.


Read more from Sporting News


Falk Purchasing No. 33 Cup Team: CE Falk, Elliott Sadler among drivers
Sprint Cup series car owner Joe Flak said on Monday that he expects Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon and CE Falk to be among those who will drive the No. 33 Chevrolet for his team in upcoming races.


Joe Falk is purchasing the No. 33 team from legendary Cup owner Richard Childress. Falk said that Hermie Sadler, who drove to a 31st-place finish in the team’s first race on Sunday at Martinsville, also figures to drive some more races.


Read more from Daily Press



Monday, April 2, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1950 – Tim Flock scores his first victory in NASCAR’s top series, outrunning his brother Bob to prevail at .75-mile Charlotte Speedway. Flock bypasses pole-sitter Red Byron in the 48th lap and leads the rest of the 200-lap main event. Flock won 29 times in his 13-year career, which included championships in 1952 and ’55.


From NASCAR .com


Vietnam Vet festival at Charlotte Motor Speedway ends in tragedy
A daylong festival at Charlotte Motor Speedway meant to honor the sacrifices of Vietnam Veterans ended in tragedy on Saturday as two motorcyclist riding on the track died following a collision. A third rider is in critical condition.


During the course of the event, motorcycle riders took to the track. And while the details of the wreck have not been released, several witnesses interviewed by area newspapers indicate there was plenty of unsafe driving going on. The riders killed were operating motorcycles that collided.


Read more from Yahoo Sports


Dover International Speedway to host Frog Events’ Firefly Music Festival
A star-studded lineup of musical acts will visit the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, July 20-22, 2012, for the inaugural Firefly Music Festival. Headliners include The Killers, The Black Keys and Jack White, along with more than 40 other national acts on four stages, including Death Cab for Cutie, John Legend, The Flaming Lips, Passion Pit, Cake, Lupe Fiasco, Young the Giant and many more.


Read more from Dover International Speedway-PR


Ryan Newman Scores First Win of 2012 in Wild Finish at Martinsville Speedway
Stewart-Haas Racing stole the show from what looked to be a storybook day for Hendrick Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway for the 63rd Annual Goody’s Fast Relief 500. Ryan Newman, No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet, took advantage of a late race melee that took out the top-three cars on the second-to-last restart during a green-white-checkered finish brought about when a car stopped on the backstretch and was unable to make it to pit road. It was also SHR’s 8th win in the last 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup series races.


Newman held off AJ Allmendinger (Dodge) and Dale Earnhardt Jr, No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, on the final restart and second green-white-checkered finish to score his 16th career win, but first at the 0.526-mile Virginia short track. Earnhardt Jr came home in third position and is now second in the overall point standings just six markers back of the lead after race number six of the 2012 season.


Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 MyLowes Chevrolet, finished 12th after he and teammate Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, dominated most of the race and were clearly the class of the field at the very end of the event. Gordon came home 14th after he and Johnson were involved in a crash while leading and suffering contact when the third place car made a move going into turn one that caused them all to spin. Johnson falls to 10th in points while Gordon moves up to 21st.


Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet rallied for a 7th place finish after battling an ill-handling race car for most of the day.


Other Team Chevy finishers in the top-20 were: Regan Smith -16th, Kevin Harvick – 19th and Jamie McMurray – 20th.


The series moves to Texas Motor Speedway on April 14, 2012.


Post Race Press Conference Transcripts – Ryan Newman and crew chief, Tony Gibson, No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet winners


Kerry Tharp – Let’s roll into our post event press conference for the 63rd Annual Goody’s Fast Relief 500. Our race winner today is Ryan Newman. He drove the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing. He is joined by his crew chief Tony Gibson.


This is your 16th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win; your first win in 2012 and your first win here at Martinsville Speedway, so congratulations on that. I know you’ve got a new sponsor on the race car, and for this race here today and that’s got to feel good for that, and also getting into the victory column so early in the 2012 season. Congratulations.


Ryan Newman – Thank you. No doubt an impressive day for us; for me to take us out of the game and we ended up going a lap down because of my speeding penalty, and the guys did an awesome job in giving us the car to make the changes.


We were not a dominant race car today but we put ourselves in contention. The way the strategy and everything worked out, coming in for two tires and Clint kind of clearing out turn one for us, we were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.


We have been in that position here and been in the wrong place at the wrong time and it’s nice to be able to at least balance it out and get Outback in victory lane. That was really special for us, their first race with the team and if we get in the top-ten, we get free Bloomin’ Onions if you go to Outback and mention my name. Not sure, they might be rethinking that after this week.


Kerry Tharp –Tony Gibson, congratulations on the win here today. Certainly a comeback victory for the 39 car. Talk about how that thing happened out there today.


Tony Gibson – It’s like he said, feast or famine on pit road. You try to get everything you can because every spot that you can gain on pit road means a lot on the racetrack.


We are all in this deal together, and there’s been times when we have given him bad pit stops and stuff like that. So that stuff is going to happen. That happens to everybody. What’s good is we fight back and Ryan never gives up; out team never gives up. So we had to fight back and get a lap back, and put ourselves in contention.


We had a solid top-five car today. We didn’t have a winning car. We had a top-five car, and you know, at the end you had to take some sort of tires, whether it was two or rights, or lefts, or four.


And like Ryan said, if we are sitting there running sixth and the other guys are behind us are going to come, so we’ve got to take something. Other guys took less. He said, it’s up to you. We threw rights on, figuring it would help take off a little quicker. Like I said, the guys had a great stop. Clint cleared out the way for us and Ryan did the rest. He drove a great race all day long, never gave up, and like I told you a million times, you put him somewhere near the front with ten to go, look out, he’s going to have a shot to win it.


We are pleased for Outback and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing for everybody to get a victory early and we need a couple more of them to really lock ourselves into the Chase deal and consider ourselves a good contender and so that’s what we have go to do.


Like you said a million times, we have got to learn from what we did today and apply that for the next up and coming weeks and we have got to get a couple more wins here pretty quick.


Kerry Tharp – Ryan, certainly getting that grandfather clock has to be pretty cool. That has to be one of the coolest trophies in all of sports.


Ryan Newman – Yeah, it’s something I look forward to. I even told Stewart after the race, I looked in the house and I’ve got a place for it. I’ve got a big old log cabin at home and it needs a grandfather clock and I was that’s just a byproduct of this race. I wanted to win this race but that grandfather clock is awesome and I’m proud to be able to take it home.


Q. Clint maintained after the race that you would have done the exact same thing if given the opportunity; but also AJ was in here after the race and was raving about how well and clean you raced him on those last two laps. Which one would it have been?


Ryan Newman – Well, if I was in Clint’s position, I would have tried not crashing the guys and won the race. I mean, I was trying to do the same thing to him as he did to the 24, and he actually   whether he was trying to block me or he was trying to get his run on the 24, he pulled down and my little bump, I think, it was a pretty good shot, propelled him up next to the 24.


Whether he hit turn one faster than he wanted to or not, he still has got three pedals on the car and a steering wheel; it’s his job to control it. I don’t know if he hit the curb or if he ran out of room or the 24 pinched him down. It doesn’t matter.


The good thing is, we came out on the inside of the right side, and it was just a matter of racing AJ clean on the next restart. I felt like I wasn’t racing AJ on that restart. I felt like I was racing Junior behind me because I didn’t want the same thing to happen, because I’ve seen it happen so many times here. It was really important for me to not spin my tires and get a good start and race AJ and try to eliminate the 88 from the race for the win.


Q. There’s some people who are not too happy with Reutimann for bringing out that caution, but I was curious what you thought when you saw him stopped on the track?


Ryan Newman – Unless we know from his mouth what happened why he stopped over there


Q. Inaudible


Ryan Newman – Well, he’s been around racing a long time. I don’t know why he did what he did or if he was stuck in that position. I worked out for us. We were going to be a sixth place car at best at that point. Whether   no matter what happened, it’s not the first time somebody stopped on a straightaway with a few laps to go and forced us into a green-white-checker restart at the end of the race.


We’ll take what we can get. Like I said, we’ve lost them that way hands down several times here and it’s nice to be able to win one.


Q. The last few weeks since Bristol fans have been clamoring with short track racing with beating and banging; do you think what we saw at the end is what they are looking for?


Ryan Newman – I thought it was a good race. A lot of green flag running, most I’ve ever seen here at Martinsville. It was a good race and the tires didn’t fall off and we didn’t lose the drive that we typically do here. 


Goodyear did bring a great, durable tire but also made it hard to pass at the same time, because usually you’re working on your forward drive. And it’s not that we didn’t but it was more important to rotate the center than it was to get the forward bite, and that was our weakness. That was our weakness the whole race was rotating the center.


Q. Any time there’s anything like this, there’s a lot of people attempt to go make scapegoats of the other, whether in this case it was   what I’m saying, at the end of the race, when you hit   first of all, when you hit Bowyer, it was a good ways before the actual accident happened.


Ryan Newman – Oh, yeah, it was the start/finish line.


Q. Later on after three cars wrecked, his view was like, oh my God, I got belted from behind and I couldn’t help it. When you hit him was it just something because he didn’t    or were you trying to boost him? Were you trying to move him up and get position?


Ryan Newman – I was trying to make a run to dive underneath him to do to him what he was trying to do to the 24; not take him the 24 out. We were not trying to take him out by any means in that context, but just to be able to get track position and work my way up to third; and hopefully my tires would outrun the 24 and 48 in the last couple laps. But that didn’t work.


And then as soon as he got the rundown into one, and for whatever reason, wore out, got loose, hit the curb, whatever, he definitely drove up into the 24 and ran out of room and caused a melee. But that’s short track racing. We can be the best drivers in the world racing Sprint Cup stock cars, or we can be out there running hobby stocks, and the same exact thing would have happened.


Q. Talk about for the second week in a row, Stewart-Haas Racing has kind of masterfully been in the right place at the right time. Tony did it last week at Fontana, and you were able to endure it here today overcoming the one lap penalty. Talk about how the whole team kind of seems to be on a roll right now.


Ryan Newman – It’s different situations and different racetracks and I guess there are two things to talk about. Tony dominated. He drove from whatever he was, 14th and whatever in qualifying up to the lead under green the whole entire way and he had a dominant race car.


Today we didn’t have a dominant race car but we put ourselves in position and in contention in the last two green and white checkers.


The strength overall for Stewart Haas, it’s a two mile racetrack and a half mile racetrack, and Stewart already won on a mile and a half racetrack. So we have a good strong start to the season when it comes to looking at the racetracks and the places that we race at, and that makes a difference.


Some guys are only capable of winning at certain racetracks and we have proved that Stewart-Haas is capable of a lot.


Q. You said at the Martinsville Henry County SPCA media event that this track owed you one and the first thing that comes to mind is the frantic finish here a couple years ago where you were running second on the restart and got shifted up to the third line and had to settle for fourth. Do you feel with the way this one played out, you finally to the one that you deserved here?


Ryan Newman – I think there’s 42 drivers out there that say that his place owes them one. That’s the nature of this paperclip racetrack.


But from my standpoint, yeah, we had been in contention a couple of times and didn’t get to victory lane; me as a driver both with Penske and at Stewart-Haas. It’s nice to be able to balance the averages out and make it happen. It was due to the misfortune of some other people, but that’s racing. That’s the driving and that’s why we love the sport.


Q. Wondering if we can get your take on that wild finish from your viewpoint what’s going through your mind, and also Ryan, being affiliated with Hendrick, looked like they were going to get the 200th win, sure you’re not going to apologize for taking it that way from them.


Ryan Newman – It’s under the hood.


Q. Wonder if you had any reaction. But Tony, could you go first?


Tony Gibson – Like I said, we were like that a couple years ago and had a shot to win it and got booted out of the way. We knew we had an opportunity to win the race and on Bowyer went. When I saw Bowyer   Newman went to the inside, and when I seen Bowyer chop him off I figured one of them was going to go around.


So you know, Ryan had a good run going and Bowyer was going quite a bit slower from what I saw. It was a straight hit, but you know, I think everybody was still going pretty straight before they got to the corner. When they got down in there, I knew good and well that Bowyer wasn’t going to lift. So I was just hoping that we could get stopped or get down low enough to miss it and that’s kind of how it worked out.


But it’s never wracking and it’s like Newman said before the restart, he said, “I’m going for it and if I don’t bring it back, I’m sorry, you guys did a good job.


He already had a plan in place and we were behind him whatever happened. I figured something was going to happen. Those guys up there on old tires and guys behind you with new tires, that’s a recipe for disaster on a track like this. I’m just glad we came out on top.


Ryan Newman – As far as the Hendrick, I don’t focus on that. Hendrick, it will happen. Doesn’t have to be at Martinsville after a day they dominated. It’s a circle on the cycle of NASCAR.


Q. You said you were worried about Junior, but you had a Penske Dodge on your outside and with you knowing what Penske has, did that give you a little more confidence to where you felt like you could concentrate more on Junior?


Ryan Newman – We were probably an equivalent car to the 22 all day long. We raced nose to tail for a long time and that’s why I chose the inside because I felt like that was the lane to have. Eight tires are always better than four, and I didn’t want to have to lean on AJ, and I didn’t, but if I needed to, then I could.


Just the way it all worked out it. Had nothing to do with my previous history at Penske. It was just about knowing that that was the ideal line for me and my race car. I was really only worried about Junior because I knew he would try to do the exact same thing Clint did because that’s what we all try to do. If eight are better than four, then 12 has got to be the best. It didn’t work out for Clint, but we always try.


Q. Seeing you in victory lane there with the champagne bottle, you didn’t get an April Fool’s bottle did you?


Ryan Newman – I couldn’t get the cork out of the thing. Had to give it to one of the guys to let them enjoy it. I’m not a champagne drinker anyway, so wasn’t a big deal for me. I ended up wearing it instead of spraying it.


Q. My math may be wrong on this and it often is, but your 16 career victories, I think 11 have come at different racetracks; that’s pretty good diversity. Talk about what that means to have wins at everywhere from Daytona to Martinsville.


Ryan Newman – I just try to spread them out. I could win a bunch of races, but for me it’s more important to just kind of spread it out and let other guys win once in a while, too. (Laughter).


What do you want me to say? That’s just the way it all works.


Q. That wasn’t what I was looking for. If you could give me a better answer about what it means to be versatile.


Ryan Newman – And it goes back to, people ask me, what is your favorite racetrack. And I have got some tracks I like better than others, but there’s not a track out there that I dislike. That just goes to show you when it comes to my stats, I’m a contender at a lot of racetracks and that’s    I think the best I’ve ever run in the championship is sixth, but just goes to show if we get the right situation and package together for the last ten, with the difference and versatility in the racetracks, we’ll be in good shape.


I look forward to it. We just have to keep our nose to the grindstone. This is a great step in the right direction but ultimately this is just one small steppingstone and we have to build a pretty nice sidewalk.


Q. In some sports, if you have a nice crowd, it kind of boosts a player’s confidence or a driver’s confidence. For drivers, do you feel like having a packed house, seemed like a pretty good crowd today, does that play any factor in a driver’s head and being pumped up about the race?


Ryan Newman – It doesn’t change the way I approach the race. I mean, it’s cool and all. If there’s 150,000 people or 350,000 people, the victory is still just as sweet. It doesn’t change that. It’s all about how we raced and how we competed as a team. That’s what makes me happy and gratified.


I couldn’t ask for much more today. Like I said we were not a dominant race car, but we put ourselves in contention and pulled it off.


Q. Tony, 19 years ago today, we lost the driver you won the championship with; what does this mean to you to win this race on the anniversary of the day we lost Alan Kulwicki?


Tony Gibson – Yeah, I thought about that last night actually, and it means a lot. It’s a lot of the reason I’m where I’m at is because of Alan. You know, the fight to never give up, and always believe in yourself comes from him too.


So I think Alan, he put a lot of that and a lot of guys in this garage here, and not only me.  I think, you know, it’s just pretty cool to be with Ryan with the engineering background, and he’s just like Alan.  He’s just like him. He’s wicked smart and when you ever try to catch him on something, he’s got a little bit better answer for you. So I don’t try that anymore.


But it is really cool. It’s pretty neat if you look back, same type of guy; a guy that all he wants to do is race; all he believes is in racing. Just goes to show you, you can be smart and you can drive too.


It means a lot, today does. And any time you win is important. Any time you can win is gratifying. But today is really cool to be able to win and think about Alan and where we have all come.


So I’m just happy to still be in the sport. I know I’m getting old and I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long but hopefully I can dig along for a little longer and get some more wins.


Ryan Newman – I remember this day 19 years ago when I was in high school. He was inspiration for me. He was part of the reason why I chose to be an engineer and follow through with my racing career at the same time.


You know, just like Tony said, he’s inspirational to a lot of people in the garage; that never give up attitude; the underdog kind of mentality that he had. It’s no matter what, we’ll do our best and that’s all we can do, and that’s what we did today.


Q. Getting a win this early takes a little pressure off the wildcard scenario. Is it going to take a couple wins, maybe three wins, or are you mostly hoping on points and not have to worry about wins?


Ryan Newman – You know, I don’t want to have to worry about wins. I think our team is definitely a top-ten contending team. We have proved that the first six races of the season or whatever we are at now. If we have to, then we do.


But if we have to, and it’s tough to say because of what Stewart went through last year if you have to; usually if you have to do that, my point is, you’re not a championship contending team.


So I would rather much rely on how strong we are each and every week than rely back on a win or multiple wins to get into the Chase.


Q. Good to have one?


Ryan Newman – It’s great to have one, and the clock.


Q. Between you and Tony Stewart, you guys, Stewart-Haas Racing, have won eight of the last 16 Cup races. Can you just talk about the run you guys have enjoyed so far?


Ryan Newman – Just glad I finally contributed.


Tony Gibson – I was getting a little nervous for a while. I was nice to contribute on our side of it, and we know we can do it; we have said it time and time again, the equipment is there and everything we need to do to win. We just have to put it in place and execute. We have struggled a little bit at that. We had 27 and a half great races last year and we failed in the Chase. We didn’t run as good as we needed to run, and Stewart took off like a ball of fire.


It was disappointing for us   he’s still on fire. It’s disappointing for us because we know we have the same equipment and we know we should be winning those races too. It puts pressure on us and makes us work harder and think, why aren’t we winning, and they are winning.


So hopefully we have helped ourselves. We know we are working hard as a company to make sure both these cars are as close as we can get, other than what the two different drivers need, little things. We have everything there we need to win every week. It’s hard to win every week, but we have got the equipment and the drivers to do it. We just have to execute and make sure it happens.


Kerry Tharp – Ryan and Tony, congratulations for a big win today.


FastScripts by ASAP Sports provided by NASCAR

Keep checking back for updated news throughout the week. Each day’s news stories will be posted here as a digest of NASCAR news for the entire week.


As always, Thanks for reading and participating.  


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